Jean Fugett: Around the NFL



Jean Fugett: Around the NFL

By Jean Fugett; thanks to Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

WalterFootball.com is proud to partner with former Redskins and Cowboys tight end Jean Fugett, Jr. Esq. Fugett grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and attended Amherst College. He was the last pick of the 13th round in the 1972 NFL Draft. Fugett made the Cowboys as a backup to future Hall of Famer Mike Ditka. Fugett eventually became a starter for Tom Landry’s Cowboys and started in Super Bowl X. He made the Pro Bowl in 1977.

As a free agent, Fugett went from being the lowest-paid starting tight end to the highest-paid with the Washington Redskins. While playing for legendary Redskins coach George Allen, Fugett attended law school at George Washington University at night.

During and after his playing days, Fugett worked with CBS, the Washington Post and other media. He went on to serve as Director and Vice-Chair of the McCall Pattern Company Management Committee, founded a Baltimore law firm and partnered with Fanfone in Europe.

After the death of his brother Reginald F. Lewis in 1993, Fugett took over TLC Beatrice International Foods, the largest black-owned and black-managed business in the world at the time. Fugett has served on committees with the NFL Players Association and on the Leadership Council for the American Diabetes Association Maryland Chapter.


WalterFootball.com would like to thank Redskins president Bruce Allen and senior vice president/executive producer of media Larry Michael for connecting us to Fugett. Now, let’s let Jean take over.

Offensive Player of the Week: Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Staints

Defensive Players of the Week: Aqib Talib and Chris Harris, CBs, Denver Broncos

Goat of the Week: Ken Whisenhunt, former head coach, Tennessee Titans

Coach of the Week: Wade Phillips, defensive coordinator, Denver Broncos

The majority of teams in the AFC have a losing record at the midpoint of the season; wow, this has gone beyond parity. The cream is rising to the top but there is not much!

The top teams are clear to see; they are well-managed, well-coached, have good players and every week they do things to win. Look how Denver just traded for tight end Vernon Davis. Denver doing things to win.

A pessimist might be thinking we are seeing the final days of the “real” NFL the game we used to know. I think it was baseball manager Casey Stengel who asked, “Does anybody know how to play this game?” Watching the NFL today, we wonder. We are certainly seeing the NFL game in transition.

Some losing teams are doing everything possible to win. The Titans fired head coach Ken Whisenhunt, who could have ruined the career of Marcus Mariota by forcing him to play injured. We know the NFL is game to game, week to week, and year to year.

It can be hard to have a long view when the average NFL career is less than four years. But forcing an injured quarterback to play when maybe he could not defend himself is how players become casualties in the NFL war of attrition.

With RG3, the same can be said and the result evident of what can happen. A rookie has not been in the league long enough to say to the coach “I’m not going in”. Every week, young players are tested like that and in so many ways that never make ESPN. Since the beginning of the league, many a player had to painfully learn the profession.

The NFL and this going to London is not helping anybody except Jacksonville because the team cannot sell tickets. We continue to have a team in New England that is still very pissed off about the way they were treated by the league, and many teams are not happy about that. Did we really need to give the Patriots another reason??

Elimination List (Four or more losses except NFC East)
Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions
New Orleans Saints
Baltimore Ravens
Cleveland Browns

San Diego Chargers
Buffalo Bills
Tennessee Titans
Jacksonville Jaguars
Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs
San Francisco 49ers


Former Redskin and Cowboy tight end Jean Fugett was a Pro Bowler in 1977 and a starter in Super Bowl X.



AFC

The Ravens had a bittersweet victory. The one man the whole team could look to as an example of not quitting, in Steve Smith Sr. was injured and now is out for the year. We hope that was not his last game. Nobody wants to end their career like that. He is in the top-10 all-time receivers! Raven QB Joe Flacco showed Sunday why the Ravens made the investment in him the way he led his team to a win. Philip Rivers was doing the same thing, but did not have the home-field advantage.

Kansas City woke up against Detroit, but too little too late for the Chiefs. Oakland is the surprise team of the league this season. They could become the L.A. Raiders. As Steeler Coach Mike Tomlin said, “Derek Carr can make every NFL throw.” Carr also can read the field and makes good decisions. Is reading defenses that hard? Casual fans watch the game and see when the blitz is coming. Many young quarterbacks seem to have trouble reading defenses and changing the play at the line of scrimmage. Carr can do that, and that is one reason why the Raiders are playing so well this season. Of course, Crabtree and Cooper help a lot.



The Oakland vs. Pittsburgh game next week at Pittsburgh is a playoff game for the Steelers and will be just like old times, playing their ancient foe the Raiders. If the Steelers lose to the Raiders, they go to our elimination list. Pittsburgh has to be happy to have Big Ben back, but sorry to lose for the season, perhaps the best running back in the NFL, Le’Veon Bell.

The Jets just got dropped by the Raiders because Geno Smith was terrible as New York’s quarterback. There is such a gap between the first-string and the second-string quarterback in the NFL today. Poor play at the position could be what keeps the Jets out of the playoffs.



NFC

If you look at the NFC, excluding the division leaders, you have the Vikings and Falcons at two losses with a two-game lead on their wild card spots. The coaches in Minnesota have to be considered for the staff of the year with what they are doing very quietly. The Falcons and Vikings may have a two-game lead on the wild-card spots, but the Seahawks, Rams and Saints are lurking.

What we saw on Sunday night was not good news for Green Bay. When was the last time you saw the Packers’ offense look like that? The Broncos’ game plan will be copied and thrown at the Packers some more. I think Green Bay can see the Vikings close in the rearview mirror.

Tampa Bay came back and played tougher after suffering the huge comeback from the Redskins. St. Louis is a different team and will be tough to beat as long as Gurley is running the ball like he is now. Have we seen a running back come into the league like this recently?

Going into the game last week, who would think that the Giants and Saints would combine for the third-largest point total in NFL history? That game looked like TCU and Baylor going at it because the NFL has made rule changes to favor more points and these kinds of games. Brees with seven touchdown passes means we certainly have to recalculate the proclamation of the end of the Drew Brees-Sean Payton era in New Orleans. I’m still stunned at that point result, and the Eli Manning homecoming was totally ruined.

Carson Palmer is showing he belongs in the elite class with Rodgers, Brady, Brees and Manning. We also have to add Cam Newton to that group of elite quarterbacks. Right now, you have to say that the Panthers are the best team in the NFC, and how many players can you name on that team? I expect Carolina to beat the Packers on Sunday. The Panthers find a way to win offensively and defensively. I think Carolina has something special going this season.




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